News : Blue Ocean’s Discovery Center Enjoys Tidal Wave of Success in First Year

Oct 2, 2014

Published in Seacoast Online and Fosters

By Kristyn Lak Miller

HAMPTON- “What’s this?” asked two-year-old Emmett, pointing excitedly at a crab. In quick succession, he asked the same question of a sea star, a horseshoe crab, a hermit crab, seaweed, and even a big rock. Emmett was standing on his tiptoes in front of a touch tank at the Blue Ocean Discovery Center, just beyond the waves on Hampton Beach. If the lights overhead went out, it’s a sure bet his ear-to-ear grin would have lit up the entire room. 

Run by the Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation — a local non-profit organization that protects marine animals in the Gulf of Maine through education, research, and conservation — the Blue Ocean Discovery Center’s mission is to provide a family-friendly attraction where visitors learn about marine life, local and maritime history, and the action they can take to protect the marine environment.

More than 21,000 people have visited the Blue Ocean Discovery Center since it opened on June 29, 2013, with attendance rates three times higher during the summer of 2014 than the same time the previous year. Located at 170 Ocean Boulevard — slightly north of the Sea Shell Stage — admission is only $1 for anyone over the age of two (those younger are free) and the small space is bright and welcoming. “We have something for everyone, from toddlers to senior citizens,” said Jen Kennedy, Executive Director. “Our exhibits are engaging for every age group. And our educators have a wealth of information on marine biology, the local marine environment, and the local area.”
 

Read the full story on Seacoast Online or Fosters.